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Comment: Re:convenience over quality (Score 1) 360

by dafunn (#38296320) Attached to: Netflix CEO Comments On Recent Decisions

Of course, I have to wonder, if they've got all these other vectors covered, they clearly have a development process that supports multiple platforms. Would it be that hard to also have a linux client?

I can't imagine so. Doesn't anyone know why else they would be forgoing a linux client?

I would assume that it has something to do with satisfying the MPAA requirements for DRM. But that's just a guess.

I suspect there is a part of satisfying MPAA requirements that comes into play, but I'd wager the decision is much more based on the heterogeneity of the Linux ecosystem. With Windows and MacOS (or any of the other platforms listed), you're developing to a fairly standard API with a fairly well-known set of associated dependencies. One can predict, with a high degree of accuracy, what libraries will be available on the target system.

Developing "for Linux" has none of this. Sure, one could specify the versions of various libraries that are required but when you start to discover that you're alienating the majority of the installed base with your reqs, and that trying to develop an app such that it includes the majority of said installed base is both time-consuming and cost prohibitive, the economics just don't add up. I see an installed base quoted at roughly 3% farther down, so you're talking about only being able to reach a subset of that base for roughly the same cost as developing to other platforms that enjoy 20% or 30% market share. From a business perspective, the economics just don't make sense.

I see a lot of this MPAA-boogeyman-won't-let-them talk in Slashdot comments and it's a little tiring. Generally speaking, the free market tends to iron out such inefficiencies, given enough time, and the lack of a Linux client for so many apps, across so many companies, should be a big clue to anyone that there are some real economic reasons why this isn't happening. Mind, and I say all of this as a guy who runs Linux as his primary desktop and is also a developer of Linux apps, so I've encountered the exact same issues I'm talking about in dealing with the randomness of available functionality in the installed Linux base.

Parent poster, I apologize if this comes across as being a rant directed at you - that certainly is not my intent here. I'm just a little frustrated by having seen years of the same "MPAA won't let them" comments in various threads any time talk of a Linux client for just about anything comes up. There is, in my mind, a pretty obvious explanation for this and it boggles me that we have to rehash this subject Every Frickin' Time.

But then again, I must be new here...

Comment: Re:Camera Vandalism? (Score 1) 189

by dafunn (#37451438) Attached to: Atlanta's Growing Video Surveillance System

So far, they haven't decreased the crime rate even a single %.

That's a very good point - this system is obviously a complete boondoggle and waste of money because it has had absolutely no impact whatsoever on crime rates in and around Atlanta.

Oh wait, it couldn't be that an explanation for that was given in the first line of the article, now could it?

"Plans [...] will move forward this week with the opening of a state-of-the-art video monitoring center."

Businesses

+ - I am the bad boss!! what now?!?

Submitted by Anonymous
Anonymous (666) writes "I'm an IT manager since almost 2 years now and out of no-where (maybe arrogance), I decided to do a 360 feedback (using one of those websites). Employees were able to answer anonymously and, now I'm sure, didn't hold on anything on their mind. Turned out I'm not very good; pretty much very bad. As suggested, I'm one of those managers who got promoted due to "technical prowess" in my previous position. And in all honesty, although I like the job (well, before I did...), I didn't sign up for this (people who hates you and goes bad mouthing about you — not that they're not right, just that I don't want to be known like that). What should I do now? You guys saw anyone in that same position (maybe you?) and actually turned it over and became a good boss?"
PC Games (Games)

+ - Can you recommend a team-oriented online game?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "My parents are moving out of town, and my sister and I are looking for an online game to play alongside our mom. (All three of us have played Puzzle Pirates, but my sister has become bored with the puzzles and won't touch it anymore.) Neither my mom nor I enjoy the standard MMORPG fare of kill-level-buy-gear-rinse-repeat. What we're looking for is some sort of cooperative online gaming experience which doesn't hinge on how fast you can click the mouse button or how many hours you've been killing things in dungeons. Does such a thing exist?"
Music

+ - RIAA Admits ISP's Have Misidentified "John Doe

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA has sent out a letter to the ISP's telling them to stop making mistakes in identifying subscribers, and offering a "Pre-Doe settlement option" — with a discount of "$1000 or more" — to their subscribers, if and only if the ISP agrees to preserve its logs for 180 days. Other interesting points in the letter(pdf): the RIAA will be launching a web site for "early settlements", www.p2plawsuits.com; the letter asks the ISP's to notify the RIAA if they have previously "misidentified a subscriber account in response to a subpoena" or became aware of "technical information... that causes you to question the information that you provided in response to our clients' subpoena"; it requires ISP's to notify the RIAA "as early as possible" as to whether they will enter the 180 day/"pre-Doe" plan; it mentions that there has been confusion over how ISP's should respond to the RIAA's subpoenas; it noted that ISP's have identified "John Does" who were not even subscribers of the ISP at the time of the infringement; and it requested that ISP's furnish their underlying log files as well as just the names and addresses, when responding to RIAA subpoenas."
Programming

+ - Practical Applications of Fast NP Solving?

Submitted by CoolGuySteve
CoolGuySteve (666) writes "Recently there has been news of quantum computers supposedly making certain NP algorithms much faster. Many of us have learned about NP in class or on our own with problems like Subset-Sum and Travelling Salesmen, but how would being able to quickly solve these types of problems improve everyday life?

If everyone had some kind of computing device in the far-off future, similar to a video or physics acceleration card, that could solve NP-complete problems in less than 1 ms, what new applications would we see? How would existing applications be made better?"
Supercomputing

+ - New adiabatic quantum computer demoed today

Submitted by perpetual_motion
perpetual_motion (666) writes "A Vancouver company called D-Wave is supposed to demonstrate its new "adiabatic quantum computer" today, a machine that could become the "x86" of the quantum computing world, according to Ars Technica. The site has a nice writeup on what's being announced, and some analysis on why it only needs to be "good enough". From the article: "The adiabatic system they're using may not wind up being the "best" in terms of its practicality or ability to solve a wide range of problems (the academic world is primarily working with other systems) but it's apparently ready for some sort of usage now. And that may be all D-Wave needs. If they can convince others to work with their system — code additional algorithms, provide high-level interfaces to Orion, work around its limitations — their approach may not have to be the 'best' in any sense."

There are also in-depth technical examinations of adiabatic quantum computing and the famous P vs. NP problem, if you want to get your quantum learn on."
The Internet

The Pirate Bay, Featured in Vanity Fair 300

Posted by Zonk
from the everybody's-a-little-bit-famous dept.
koregaonpark writes "Via the TorrentFreak site, an article in the latest issue of Vanity Fair about BitTorrent, movie piracy and The Pirate Bay. The Vanity Fair piece is lengthy, and covers the MPAA's struggle to stamp out piracy, Hollywood's increasing losses, and how the 'heartfelt testimony of Ben Affleck, a man who was paid $12.5 million to star in Gigli,' didn't help one bit. 'Pirates of the Multiplex' covers the saga of Pirate Bay in a very high-level, mass-market fashion. Did you ever think you'd be reading about TPB in Vanity Fair?"
The Almighty Buck

Michael Crichton on Why Gene Patents Are Bad 367

Posted by Zonk
from the life-finds-a-way dept.
BayaWeaver writes "Michael Crichton, author of The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park has made a strong case against gene patents in an op-ed for the New York Times. Striking an emotional chord, he begins with 'You, or someone you love, may die because of a gene patent that should never have been granted in the first place. Sound far-fetched? Unfortunately, it's only too real.' From there, he moves on to use logic, statistics, and his way with words to make his point. Arguing against the high costs of gene therapies thanks to related patents, he eventually offers hope that one day legislation will de-incentivize the hoarding of scientific knowledge. As he points out: 'When SARS was spreading across the globe, medical researchers hesitated to study it — because of patent concerns. There is no clearer indication that gene patents block innovation, inhibit research and put us all at risk.'"
Google

Google Loses Cache-Copyright Lawsuit in Belgium 340

Posted by Zonk
from the no-convenience-for-you dept.
acroyear writes "A court in Belgium has found that Google's website caching policies are a violation of that nation's copyright laws. The finding is that Google's cache offers effectively free access to articles that, while free initially, are archived and charged for via subscriptions. Google claims that they only store short extracts, but the court determined that's still a violation. From the court's ruling: 'It would be up to copyright owners to get in touch with Google by e-mail to complain if the site was posting content that belonged to them. Google would then have 24 hours to withdraw the content or face a daily fine of 1,000 euros ($1,295 U.S.).'"

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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